Cement Box on a Stick
I swear, some people log on to SL with this
idea: "Let's see. Nothing to do...
Let me put up a giant cement box
on a stick. An ugly cement popsickle
on this beautiful lake...
Let me add palm trees
and a sand beach on this...
Now that the site is back up, I continue to ponder T-Linden's highly-spun economic report, to see if there is anything I can really understand about our real virtual economy by studying this pripiska, as the Soviets used to call, in one word, the phenomenon of "reports by local managers who inflate their numbers to report fictions to the center".
The number I keep coming back to is this one, presented as if a glorious achievement of the Motherland: 826,000 monthly log-ons.
But...but...There used to be a number shown right on the web site and the log-in screen called "60 day log-ons". And that number showed 1.5 million something for a long time, then dropped to 1.4 million something lately.
You could say it's about the short month, February. But this is a report after March, in April.
Right now, as I log on with the 1.23 viewer (not Viewer 2), I get this information in the upper right-hand corner:
1,396,481 logged in last 60 days
50,353 logged in now
Naturally, you, like me, wonder sometimes, as you see that "logged in now" never seem to go above 75,000 even at prime time, how you "get" the 1.4 million 60-day uniques.
And naturally I'm still wondering how you "get" the 1.4 million 60-day unique log-ons when the reported 30-day number is now down to 826,000. I guess there are always some 570,481 people who logged in last month, but where are they this month, damn them! 570,481 people who would have logged in, if only February didn't have only 28 days! 570,481 people who found that it got warmer outdoors and didn't stay inside on SL (that's T Linden's other implied excuse, as he explains the rise in numbers overall in his more rosy report by the fact that cold weather keeps people indoors).
Yesterday I had a tenant move in who told me she had *real* chickens in *real* life and that she wouldn't need to make use of my pet-friendly option lol. I suppose she could be one of those 570,481 any minute now, driven out doors to take care of her *real* chickens; driven outdoors to bask in the spring sunshine!
OK, then, I will leave you to ponder where half a million people went.
There's another strange statement: "certain transactions that were previously classified as Resident activity will now be counted as Linden activity, and therefore removed from the overall numbers".
I *think* is a reference to the fact that before, commissions for Xstreet were money in Apotheus' pocket as owner of Xstreet back when it was SLexchange.com, today, are sinks that ultimately drive the sale of currency and land for LL's pocket now. So what was previously a *plus* for the economy that cashed out into *real money* is now, with the Linden takeover, converted into burnt currency. It doesn't take any special talent to turn something that was living and growing and good for everybody into Burning Life, but the Lindens have done that before. As T explains (as Ciaran needs to learn), the burning of what used to put real food on Apotheus real table is now for a greater glory for the Motherland -- sinks in the controlled economy that force people to buy more currency from each other and the Lindens for more currency fees -- but that's *less* money all around, even so, at the end of the day, unless ultimately all of this increase in Linden Homes and Xstreet sales translates to a land purchase, i.e. a homestead down the line.That is the goal of the Linden economy: to lead newbies from orientation through Linden Homes and more Xstreet purchases to a realization that he needs a homestead to pursue his decoration and sex in greater privacy.
That's what the Lindens are watching for, that almighty conversion from the general loss leader of Linden Homes to Homesteads bought directly from Lindens or from wholesalers (watch the Lindens drop the requirement that you must first own an island to have a homestead, by freeing up homesteads to be bought as Linden Homesteads on separate areas like Linden Homes.
I'm going to call Linden H omes a loss leader, as at the regular LindEx rates, the $1200 stipend per month that the premium subscription buys is worth $4.64 US -- although booked as a source in the economy and not a LindEx purchase, which leaves a total of $5.31 paying for the server space, not of 512 m2, which is misleading, but 1024 m2, because the Lindens *provide* 512, but they *put the prims on* worth 234 prims (1024 m2 holds 234 prims on a standard sim). That is, people are giving "a free 512 m2 tier" to hold their Linden Homes plot with, but in fact, it's a 1024 m2 value. At the regular rate for 1024 m2, the Lindens would get normally *another $5* from a resident -- in order to graduate from his $9.95 premium account, giving him only "free 512 m2" he'd have to pay *another US $5* to increase to 1024 m2. At the bulk discount rate, a landlord would pay $3.03 for that land (1024 x .00296 cents) at going LindEx rates (US $3.72/1000 Lindens). That's why I call it a loss leader -- some people are paying $14.95 a month for their 1024 m2 on the mainland they own without any Linden Home; some rental agents might be paying less; but those in Linden Homes are paying only $9.95 and getting the value of a 1024 m2.
T Linden sets the stage for disappoint and lowering of expectations here:
The introduction of Viewer 2 in public beta did not have a meaningful impact on the Second Life economy in Q1 2010, though we will drill down on the impact of Viewer 2 and the investments in the New User Experience in the Q2 2010 economy post.
I disagree. I think Viewer 2 had a horrible impact on the economy. I think it led some people to stop logging on; even to close their businesses. It was the last whack in a long line of whacks that included Zindra forced relocation, homesteads gutting out the island rentals market, Xstreet changes driving away small business, etc. Oh, those people aren't "everybody" and we can't exaggerate their importance, but they do exist. Well, I'm still looking for some 570,000 people and where they went (it may be that 820,000 is a figure for *repeat* log-ons only and 1.4 million is for *only one time* logging on).
Instead of worrying about those lost people, I should take comfort in an increasing number of real people, those who are..."active in the economy":
Residents active in the Economy reached 517,349 in March, a 2010 high.
My first response in reading T Linden's epic tale of the wonders of the SL economy was: what planet is T Linden on?! I want to be on that planet! And then I realized it isn't Blue Mars, but the planet of Linden Lab, for whom the economy is working better *for them* because they've wrested back more of it for themselves. (Links and more details to come when secondlife.com is up and working again).
There are two narratives around SL now. For the average person who has been around for 2-4 years or so in business, there are these basic beliefs, rooted in experience in virtuality now:
o Xstreet is driving some inworld stores to close, and higher commissions and the end to free freebies listings are driving some to take their stuff out of Xstreet completely
o Linden Homes are killing rentals especially on the mainland and the prefab business for smaller mainland plots except for the select few who managed to become the Lindens FIC friends
o sales are down all over unless one is on Pink's Top 10 Merchants' List
o the adult grid of Zindra is flat, struggling to stay afloat in some places
o sign-ups are stagnant, infohub traffic not rising
o cashouts are slightly less valuable -- harder to cash out at 259 unless you wait more than 48 hours
So, T Linden tells a story that works the opposite to what those actually in business on the maingrid are seeing, and it's puzzling, because the natural Soviet citizen's question comes to mind as he observes state propaganda, "If everything is so good, how come everything is so bad?!" So according to T Linden:
o sign-ups are up due to an advertising campaign
o more dollars are expended inworld, more than ever
o X street sales are up
o Yet X street is only a tiny percent of the economy still
o volume of user transactions are up and Lindex sales are up
How to square these two planets?
Well, reasoning by experience, I'd have to say that we are seeing the advent of a new suburban sex industry appear that is a tide raising some boats, including the Lindens' main boat, but is draining the sea out of the rest of the economy of clubs, malls, and rentals. How could this be?
Before, those who wished to become prostitutes in Second Life had to brave a pretty fierce set of market experiences. First, they had to invest in clothing and skins to be attractive, but then they had to find a place to ply their trade -- and that place, given the very limited number of spots at infohubs (I wonder if anybody sells their log-off to a prospective TP-er to Moosehead lol) is in clubs and even malls, and for the most part, clubs wants a percentage of the take. It's a hard-scrabble existence, working as a pole-dancer for someone who pays you a pittance and takes all or part of the fees for your clients, although ingenius scripted devices make it possible for a kinder club manager to build in all kinds of percentages of multiple users of tipjars. There are never any shortage of clients, but some of them have no more than 10 Lindens to spend and are total scrubs.
With Linden Homes, the sex worker gets a cleaner and safer working environment where she doesn't have to brave nasty anonymous newbies with no payment on file who abuse her; she doesn't have to fork over pay to a club owner or accept slave wages on a pole; and yet she still has a server with a fairly active population on it to find prospects. She gets her own 512 and home and automatic socializing with all the other people on nearby sims to find clients, or, she can be teleported in directly to a place that is cheap and where the clients are payment-on-file and therefore less likely to be nasty and abusive. The sexual consumer also has a nicer experience -- he has a sexy batchelor pad where he doesn't have to compete with other consumers in a noisy club, and he doesn't have to shop thruogh endless rental arrangements to find a place that is cheap but also has privacy and a way to meet people. Yes, Linden Homes are mainly filled by people with existing accounts or renewing old premium accounts, but it's also a lot of new people -- and it's a lot of existing people on their "third lives" -- affairs away from their affairs lol.
Well, it's just a hypothesis, when you ask: where's the money? If there's more money in the economy, and your store that used to sell enough prefabs to pay your tier now has 0 traffic, where is that money? If it isn't going to Zindra; if it isn't going to mainland stores and rentals who say business is down, and yet sales are up with more entering the economy, there's only one other place where it could be if there's no gambling and that's the Linden Homes and accessories and the related suburban sex industry. Linden Homes has essentially made it easier and cheaper for people to have cybersex in Second Life without having to brave the highly volatile world of clubs and their arbitrary rules, and island landlords and their arbitrary rules, and walk into a secure, stable environment of one's own where no ugly build will go up next door. Oh, sure, sex is supposed to happen in Zindra, but that's the kinky, public sex, the sex in bukkake gardens and BDSM dungeons with multiple players.
The M-rated vanilla sex of just two partners, or maybe a discrete three, goes on inside closed prefabs with ban lines, in rows of houses on sims, with as much privacy as people can muster. So that's where the money is now -- the money that isn't in the bunnies on the farms -- in both the free sex of adults socializing and the paid sex of sex work, for which there are no shortage of customers in SL. It is that which is driving sign-ups, sales on Xstreet and more transactions between users which seem elusive to people who have been in the economy longer whose businesses may be failing.
Naturally, while appreciating the new affordances for safer and more predictable sex that Linden Homes provides (with the child avatars now even tacitly conceded by an advertising campaign that perhaps tries to answers the question "what's in it for Daddy"), I guess some of us would like to see some of the higher things in life also available, like art and music, well and not entirely out of some rarified sentiments, but out of the realization that the sex industry, especially the vanilla sex industry (which has far less implements of destruction and less weird latex outfits), doesn't do a lot for business in SL, except for maybe an initial skin and prefab outlay. People can only have sex perhaps once or twice for about 15 minute stretches during their average 4 hour log-on, so you need other things for them to do, or they fight and then log-off. With Viewer 2 still messing up the search, which means messed up events and shopping, that throws them back only to the Lindens' Destinations, which are still limited.
The open question for the Linden Homes business model, which completely repudiates the old business model that worked on the principle of an individual's autonomous exploration, socializing, shopping and homesteading on his own, is how the sated suburban sex consumers then move to the next level. Of course, with the new email spamming system, the Lindens can answer the question of "what else" with pitching art (as they've done) and shopping (which they do repeatedly) and even start pitching
And here's what I think the next thing they will do will be, as they've talked about it and threatened it before: Linden Stores. Linden Homes -- Linden Stores is obviously next. "Have your own dream business; sell furniture for Linden Homes to your friends" etc. Then watch for Linden Clubs -- where music will only be the approved kind where people are verified and can show licenses for their work, like the Verified Merchants. Watch for all of this to appear.
Linden Stores will put back some of the inworld store thing that people fear is destroyed by Xstreet driving people to the web, and make it "predictable" -- sims that will be malls layed out not to lag, that you will rent like you rent Busy Ben's or Galleria, but which will then be advertised, which those two aren't, except once a year. Lindens started this world by making what they called Linden World; they will come back to this concept with every aspect of life Lindenized. It has to be, because they won't be able to figure out how to limit their liability to litigation otherwise. We have all these lawsuits to thank for this.
This thread on Sluniverse.com continues to deliver, with a remarkable display of oldbies and midbies of Second Life *standing up* to the Woodbury bullies and *calling their bullshit*. Of course, looking to Sluniverse.com for justice is bit like expecting a Sharia court to play fair, but that's all there is in Second Life -- the Lindens, and then these tribal elder courts, without due process, without even the plaintiff (me) able to appear in the court because I'm banned from Sluniverse.com lol.
I'm always, um, touched by the enormous sense of uh...fairness that these people have about the old forums, where they often invoke the notion of my banning from there due to the machinations of Pathfinder Linden, Torley Linden and other Lindens and oldbies like Hiro Pendragon as if it were some "just deserts". In their minds, the way you "deal with" someone who violates your sense of rightness and justice, such as it is, is first to out their real life information, especially if it involves an opposite gender outing, then get them banned for their comments about you by an overpowering executive force -- your punishment is just, in that worldview.
So many of the arguments "against Prok" come down to this one piece of "justice" which trumps everything for these people -- blah blah Prok Prok Prokety Prok and then -- "and then Prok was permabanned from the official forums, so there!" -- as if Linden law was really law for them; as if they didn't have, as Adric has pointed out in general about the masochistic SLintelligentsia, 412 other butthurt outrages about how "Linden law" rots, on so many other matters lol.
This is a strange notion, given that after being banned from the old forums and old Linden blog, I was simply reinstated without comment to both the newer and the newest forums and the Linden blogs. Those constantly invoking my banning as somehow an example of "justice" can never explain how I'd be posting *today* under a clearly more stringent regime. And the answer is simple: because I was wrongfully banned. There was no case against me. I haven't changed anything about how or what I post now reinstated. Of course, this is an arbitrary regime and could change at any moment for any reason or no reason, but the actuality is, the record of the old forums shows that there was nothing actionable in my posts. They just couldn't be borne as the home truths they were by the tekkies in charge and the geek chorus that formed the fan base then.
The thread has many interesting and touching moments, so I'd highly recommend it as a read. It delivers justice "pearls" like this one, from the foul-mouthed fucktard Siggy Romulus, in a direct hit to the Woodbury wool-pulling:
If it's just all for the lulz, getting butthurt when your wrist is slapped just makes you look pathetic and hypocritical.
Man up, take your lumps, and move on.
Basically, in the Game Sharia Court, actual civilized notions of right and wrong and universal human rights don't enter into play so much as various tribal doctrines and ritualistic beliefs, like "If you're going to say it's all for the lulz, don't QQ when you are caught, that isn't lulzing anymore". Still -- and this is where I appreciate it as far as it goes -- rough approximations of the Golden Rule surface in notions like "Do it on your own sim -- if you're taking it off your sim, then that's wrong".
This story would be over -- and is nearly over, at least for this round -- were it not for the Tizzers alt Joanna Falmer persisting in a self-justifying, haughty and whiney rant about why they were all "wrongfully" banned. Most of the rest of the other rats have slunk away; Jordan's Joanna alt keeps stumping.
Why do I say this is little Jordie's alt? Because I don't think anybody else except this little creep would bother to keep spending the enormous amount of time and effort required to grief me and justify his griefing of me, and because the account bears all the usual Tizzy attributes. There he is in a Soviet army gir's outfit, with no better place to hang out than Ross Infohub. This isn't a case of coming "a few times" and a matter of "helping newbies" -- everybody knows that if you really want to help newbies, you don't come to one of the lesser trafficked infohubs, you go where there is the most traffic and really help them, not word-salad against Prokofy. Joanna came to Ross *daily* -- *constantly*. As I have it set to home, I saw him there constantly. He and Wut Moorlord would hang out there, and occasionally some of the other freaks, but some of them are merely alts, too -- Joanna Gant is dressed in the exact same skins as Joanna Falmer (Falmer is banned from the people list; Gant is showing with no groups as if something is "up" with the account but it's still in the list). Maybe after a hash ban, this account can't be accessed even if the Lindens didn't get to banning it yet.
Another thing that Joanna Falmer did *daily* was come to the Ravenglass sim to the Woodbury "campus" and 'build" -- which usually consisted of rezzing a few squares and texturing them with derivative Soviet kitsch.
There are few people who care so much about the identity they get from Woodbury University as Tizzers, who clearly sees himself as the kind of cultural curator of this dysfunctional sub-cult. He's the one who put up the tombstones with the names Tizzers Foxchase and other banned WU regulars; he also fussed with the monument that says "Never Forget" which either he built, or at least snapped a lot. On the blog of Joanna Falmer, the record of the Ravenglass "campus" is posted by him -- because he's Tizzers. Nobody else bothers -- while occasionally a mob would riot there a few times a month, and about once a week there would be a PN attack or a sim crash on day-old alts, the people who came *daily* there to harass me in the last six months or so are Joanna Falmer and Yeehaw Ragu, both of whom behave like Hazim Gazov and Tizzers Foxchase and Alyx Stoklitsky (who used to hang out and appear on griefing raids much more often with Tizzy but then seemed to stop, or go on other alts). Falmer and Ragu even made a 'Public Relations Firm" which seemed to advertise only their names and their skills at making gigantic megaprim glowing red and green cubes to grief up the skyline at Ravenglass. Yeehaw and Wut could be Shaun Altman; Shaun is long since gone from the People list, so it's a good bet he has an active alt.
I have a group chat record of how many times Yeehaw Ragu was ejected from Ravenglass which he joined nearly every day. If Woodbury University isn't griefing me, why would he and Wut Moorlord and Joanna Falmer, who pulled the same stunt, need to join my open group *every day* and keep joing after being ejected lol? They did this merely to illustrate that "they can" -- duh, we all get it that if you don't want that, you can close your groups, but I don't chose to. Most people, if they were merely, um, conceptual art troupes or avant-garde guerilla griefer artists celebrating the "transgressive" as merely epater la bourgeoisie wouldn't be doing this -- why the daily joining, dailing stalking, daily grief-building? Makes no sense, unless, of course you are a psychopathic bully.
o April 23 Pixleen Mistral stalking the Sutherland Dam meeting again on the Linden road.
o April 23 that annoying Woodbury with the hard-to spell K name is stalking the meeting and remaining behind ban lines to annoy -- he was probably spared because his name is hard to recall and spell in the AR reports.
o April 23 Arsebringer Simon, Green Lantern Excelsior Fan, is ejected for flying around banging into people in the meeting. Likely an opportunistic rubber-necker.
o April 23 A brand-new alt named Froggy Valerik dressed like some of Tizzers girl alts appears at the end of the Sutherland Dam meeting, I ban it, and within seconds my viewer is crashed. Forgot to AR.
o April 24 A brand-new alt named Commissar Kozlov (gosh, original) arrives to buzz around Ravenglass tower bothering the tenants. I spot him on the radar and ban him, but he situations himself on Linden water, and reaches into the tower and finds someone's painting accidently on share, and then pushes that painting into my face. I return the person's painting, continue to ban him, and look up his groups.
o April 24 Loki Clifton who was supposedly asked by Linden Lab to "clean up Woodbury" (*cough*) but who has been busy rallying and helping them with support tickets, made a group called A Holding Group that may well be to "hold" vagrant Woodburies who have now lost their group. Members not visible. Commissar Kozlov has joined the open group.
o April 25 Wut Moorlord finally gone from the People List. I've AR'd him dozens of times for stalking, harassment, petty "under-the-radar" annoyances like daily joining my group merely to annoy, and being ejected countless times. Wut was famous for saying to the now-banned Joanna Falmer in the Ross Infohub, "Hi Tizzers," and thereby inadvertently outing the Tizzers alt. Wut was caught camping the Woodbury store in Furness when viewers were crashed; Wut was also at the Linden meeting on TPVs where viewers were crashed. Wut always made a point of having other alts or mains do the griefing while he jeered, so gasp, he may be wrongfully banned, except the Lindens seem to have run out of patient with those secret-sharers and golf-clappers these days especially when it comes to viewer crashing of their own meetings.
o April 25 Froggy Valerik sends me a notecard on no-mod. Instead is this text, one of the typical faux Woodbury texts pretending to be outraged at griefing:
Dear Mr. Neva,
I ran across this picture and I thought it may interest you:
This shows a Linden wearing the Woodbury FIC logo as his belt buckle. The logo can be seen below at this link:
Clearly, this is indication that the Woodbury group has infiltrated the Lab itself, and is taking refuge among its employees, posing as one or more of them. It is only a matter of time before they strike to cripple the Lab, and Second Life from the inside. I urge you to take whatever action you can to insure our virtual world remains strong, and free from the influence of these cyber-terrorists.
A Concerned Citizen
Back story: the "Almost Infinite Corruption" moebius-strip like logo of the FIC was not made by Woodbury and unrelated to Woodbury or W-hat as far as I know.
It was designed by Lordfly Digeridoo to parody my development of the term "FIC" in 2005 and my concerns about the privileged in SL. A temple to the FIC and various memorabilia like FIC posters done in Soviet agitprop style, rings, t-shirts, etc. were created at that time by Lordfly and other oldbies unrelated to the W-hat conspiracy. Tizzers, lacking originality imagination, picked it up and added it to the WU memes.
FIC rings are on sale in Prokofy's shop here for $5 so you can be a cool kid too.
o April 25 Commissar Kozlov now sporting a title that is a backwards version of the phrase "Woodbury University," something he couldn't do unless he had group perms, so it's not about him just joining this open group. Loki Clifton needs to figure out at some point that he cannot go on earning his living and keeping a status of Solutions Provider with Linden Lab if he keeps aiding and abetting known griefers and their groups and harbours them in this kind of puerile manner.
Covering the Woodbury story gets dull after awhile, even for me, who is alive to its rich possibilities of analogies to real life problems of liberal values and civil rights and the problem of preventing and stopping terrorism, so aptly addressed in Paul Berman's Terror and Liberalism, one of my favourite books. I can't wait to see his new book that is coming out next week, The Flight of the Intellectuals which I will rush to buy in my nearest bookstore the old-fashioned way. I understand from reading amazon.com that he takes on Tariq Ramadan, a controversial Muslim thinker and speaker who was previously barred from a visa to the U.S. after being invited to Notre Dame. (The Catholic intellectuals are particularly in flight, I could add). We have our own little mini-series on these issues in SL with the Islamification of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, one of the most disgraceful episodes of suppression of the intellectual's free speech and universality n Second Life, and of course we have it daily in lessons disseminated from Woodbury word-saladers.
There are so many other things about SL and social media and even real life that I'd rather be writing, and I find the long polemics I'm forced to pen tire even me. I remember Urizenus, a better man than Peter Ludlow, once said in defense of my long writing that Chomsky (!) had taught him that you had to write long passages sometimes to polemicize. Long ago I learned the lesson that polemics make for really bad reading, but I don't care, I feel the job of chronicler of the current events of SL is more important to do than to worry about style and form. That's why nobody is going to be grooming me for greatness and cleaning up my swear words or ad hominems which I will insist on retaining as part of our Times v. Sullivan heritage of free speech.
Still, the Woodbury problem, about which I've written for something like nearly four years, remains and needs to be relentlessly addressed. So I will do it this way -- posting brief police blotters about their harassment. There's a theory that if you never talk about griefers, they will not grief you. Or you will not make them worse. I think there's a far, far worse problem. If nobody ever talks about griefers -- and you know who you are, and you know you've been griefed by Woodbury too, and you know you don't talk about it because you think it will go away if you don't -- then they can constantly win the rhetorical battles on places like sluniverse.com where they can show up and say "Waaaaaa we didn't do anything! We wuz framed!". Huns Valen is incorrigible and will never tell the truth that he has seen in action and knows and covers up. But you can make it harder for those swayed by Huns Valen by keeping the record. And so I shall.
This story of Woodbury actually goes back before Woodbury appeared qua Woodbury, but I again submit that Woodbury's core existed before Woodbury, and it was a deliberate plan to invite certain W-hat and the PNs into the campus to make havoc in the secret playroom underneath the seemingly innocuous campus build, and then spread the havoc to the rest of SL. Prof. Edward Clift and student Jordan Bellino admit that.
But the theorizing, the theological underpinnings of all this go back to an early era of Second Life, when everyone was very disturbed about a build that went up in the avowed W-hat sim of Baku, which was a replication of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in flames with jumpers and the slogan "I'm falling for you," as if this was a kind of love story. We were supposed to "learn" from this abhorrence ridiculing the deaths by terrorists of some 3,000 people about "American jingoism" blah blah. We were supposed to learn all sorts of pious lessons about evil Amerika and we were supposed to "poke fun at ourselvse" in our virtual world as pompous so-and-sos who cared too much about virtual buildings falling and couldn't understand the sophisticated lessons of "art." Apparently even the Lindens at that time ended up banning some of the people or even removing the build as "broadly offensive" (I'm not sure of the exact details.)
At least, that's how Mark McCahill and Peter Ludlow want to force it, and naturally the Herald milked the faux hipster scene for all it was worth. The usual suspects all showed up to make the usual cynical and nihilist arguments.
More fascinating was the dialogue on the more-free old Linden forums, in which people who weren't in the cynical magnetic field of the Herald discussed the issues, many of them sincerely, without the trolling that always takes place on the Herald.
Of course the trolls were evident on the old forums, too, and that notorious apologist for online vandalism, Huns Valen, showed up to make the usual apologia. What was interesting were all the replies and counter-arguments. I could analyze it endlessly, but just go read it here, it makes for a very instructive read and a very telling historical document from Second Life.
The problem of the terrorism of the entire grid by the W-hat Plastic Duck (AKA Gene Replacement) -- back when it was possible to take all of SL down for an entire day because it was smaller and had less checks against grey goo flooding and such, was discussed predictably by the liberal blogosphere as well, in the old "Clickable Culture" run by Tony Walsh (since closed). You can see all the same issues we face constantly in SL and RL there in spades -- a Linden telling the media that in their view they should not be celebrating Plastic Duck because he crashed the grid, and self-righteous posturing by lefties believing this put a "chill" on free speech blah blah -- although the statement by Catherine Linden at the time itself was a product of the company's own right to free speech, obviously, and the real chill wasn't put on the topic by a small then struggling software company having its grid crashed regularly, but by liberal mainstream media trying to make a fake censorship issue out of it (which is happening now as the Peter Ludlow media campaign grinds on to get respectable publications pick up the spun Woodbury story.)
I tried to expose the fakeries of W-hat back in the Herald then as well in describing the incident of Rotten Thatch on his fake Muslim alt crashing into my event in an airplane, then after I attempted to ban him but somehow only ended up returning his airplane, coming back with a giant replica of the World Trade Center and deliberately, repeatedly barging into me.
The reason he picked my event to crash (his lie that he happened to be just passing by in his airplane is a hoax) was because he read the forums discussion, again, and saw that I had tears in my eyes about the World Trade Center, and decided I was a ripe victim for being "set straight" about how you can't take the Internet seriously. I had a meeting about mainland groups and campaigining to keep the 10 percent bonus for mainland groups, something that the disgusting forums troll Jauani Wu was deliberately stumping against just to be a fucktard even though he himself sold mainland and benefited from it.
I believe Rotten Thatch is Hazim Gazom, who is also said to be Crawlingin Meskin who in turn resembles Railwyn and other alts. Of course, they may all be different people. But SL is small and basically all this time, there have been only one or two people consistently and boringly harassing me nearly ever day, and that's the Hazim Gazov character who is either Tizzers himself or related closely to Tizzers, and the Alyx Stoklitsky character, who claims he no longer harasses me but of course, keeps showing up on alts and performing the exact same tricks. This one or two persons and their alts simply decided that they had to "get" me for what I wrote against them on the forums, because they as cynics and extreme leftists who blessed the terrorism against America (not being real Muslims). The actual identity of Hazim Gazov remains a mystery, although somebody wants to either out him or get revenge on him, because they are putting in Pastebin, so it shows up on Google, that he is Jean du Plessis, itself a name of a historical figure a common name that might or not be a real life person in computers and finance in RL. There's no question that at SLCC 2 in Chicago, the disgusting little wimp Jordan Bellino came up to me literally stalking and dogging my heels, saying gleefully "I'm Hazim Gazov" and then "Want to talk to Tizzers on the phone?" Now, he may have mixed himself up there. He may have meant to say "I'm Tizzers, want to talk to Hazim."
and of course, it's always possibly *I* mixed up what he was saying by the surprise disgust at being stalked. I don't think so. That's because when I looked at the physical view of this little man who had bullied and tormented me in SL, I remember thinking to myself, oh, maybe he really is of Muslim or Jewish heritage. I tend to think it quite possible that his story is that his family is likely Albanians who passed as Italians, a common defensive measure for this immigrant group in America, until Saturday Night Live comic John Belushi made being Albanian a matter of pride. But in America, which is the Second Life of nations, anything is possible and you can reinvent yourself any way.
Whether the same person or "talking on the phone to" Hazim or Tizzers, the two were partners in SL on the partner box.
Tizzers, an American, even cynical and nihilist, would have a hard time continuing to stop for a tasteless parody of the World Trade Center terrorist act. I'm not sure at which point Tizzers came into contact with W-hat and made common cause with them and it may not have been at that time. But Hazim Gazov, if he is French Canadian, might have reason to hate America just as some extremists hate English-speaking Canada, and possibly adopt some leftist and extreme view point about world, and find it easy to jeer the WTC falling down. His text in the thread is right out of the textbook of any Chomsky-educated extreme leftist.
Under peer pressure, Rotten Thatch who I believe is Hazim Gazov or related to him, starts to revise his story. He wasn't really meaning to go grief the meeting, he was flying by. He really didn't mean to pull the World Trade Center replica out of his inventory, he accidently rezzed it when he was really trying to rez it. He didn't really mean to rez it *and* go after Prokofy and hit him over the head with it; that was just a bump. He didn't *really* mean to do that *again* after circuling around, it was just, um, hard to control, and so on. The usual outrageous fisking and literalism and splitting and wrecking of the usual criminals. Of course it was all deliberate; we know it; he knows it.
And that's the crux of the matter. Many people, myself included, would tolerate offensive art on its own sim. In the original discussion, I said I thought possibly the Lindens might wish to remove it because it was definitely qualifying under their category "broadly offensive" although they had not developed their theory and jurisprudence of that category at that time in 2005. The Lindens let the discussion go, perhaps themselves actualy wishing to see "what the community would say" because if it were up to the Lindens at that juncture in time, they'd shrug and even laugh at the "art" of w-hat and were likely enthusiastic visitors of the site themselves. That's the problem. Jeska finally came in and closed the discussion not because the nihilists were winning, but because those opposing nihilism were winning.